Peace and Love Songs [1995]

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This budget-minded compilation is a mixed bag. Chances are, Donovan enthusiasts already have these ten tracks on any number of other anthologies and the casual listener is probably looking for more hits and less obscure material. Granted, the title Peace & Love Songs summarily dismisses key cuts such as "Season of the Witch," "Hurdy Gurdy Man," or "Barabajagal." However, "Celeste," "Colours," "Mellow Yellow," and "Catch the Wind" seem to be conspicuous in their absence. Similarly, all these tracks come from Donovan's mid- to late-'60s stint on Epic Records -- which likewise disregards his seminal Pye Records (Hickory Records stateside) material from 1965. That said, deep cuts such as "Superlungs My Supergirl," "The Trip," and "The Sun Is a Very Magic Fellow" are all excellent choices. Not only do they help in providing a more accurate overview, but also nicely contrast the better-known "Sunshine Superman," "Atlantis," and "Jennifer Juniper." There are a host of other anthologies that come more highly recommended for every dimension of Donovan fan. For those tight of coin, Super Hits -- another Sony ten-song retrospective -- includes "Writer in the Sun" and "Cosmic Wheels" as well as the aforementioned "Barabajagal" and "Mellow Yellow." Anyone looking for a more expansive single-disc compendium is advised to search out Sunshine Superman: Very Best Of (2002), which serves up 22 sides from throughout Donovan's '60s catalog. In terms of sheer breadth, however, it is hard to beat the double-disc Troubadour: The Definitive Collection 1964-1976 (1991) box set with nearly four dozen songs -- including a few rarities such as demos and early studio outtakes.

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